Natural Remedies Insect Pest Control-The Beast Is Gone

natural remedies insect pest control

The Beast

The beast was frightening but now he’s gone thanks to a natural remedies insect pest control idea devised by myself and Tarzan. Sometimes you just have to wing it. One of the less attractive aspects of starting a self-sufficient sustainable lifestyle is the fact that in maintaining a healthy environment for your home and the planet, there is one creepy problem that often rears its ugly head.

The common household pest is not so easy to keep out of the house and can cause much indecision about whether or not to use pesticides. My advice of course would be to avoid using unnatural, chemical-based pesticides in favour of safer and more natural alternatives. In light of an experience I had just tonight in my home, I would like to share with you our solution at the time.

We used ingenuity not chemicals and this is our story, but there are also non-chemical, non-toxic options available to you.

 

Bathroom Beastie

 

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Chris Gladys Has Provided a Perfect Photo of What I Thought I Saw, albeit Fake As It Is

It all started with a trip to the bathroom, when suddenly I felt beady eyes looking at me and saw a huge dark shape in my peripheral vision.  I so badly wanted to run, screaming out of the bathroom but being the big brave girl that I have to be, I walked out slowly and then turned around to see what was there. I cringed at what I had been sharing space with in there.

 

Eww, Yuck and Double Yuck!

 

It’s the first one I had seen in my house since moving here over a year and a half ago so I was not expecting it. A monster of a cockroach sat on the side of my vanity, staring me down. My house is not dirty, so its hard to know what attracts them to come inside, but we just turn around and suddenly they are there. We get big ones in Queensland and this one was definitely big, about three and a half inches long and that was three and a half inches too big for my liking. And they fly! Yes, you heard me correctly, they fly.

 

OMG! It Knew!

 

I swear it knew how terrified I was of it, and it just sat there, watching me watching it. Normally they run as soon as you turn a light on or see them, which freaks me out anyway, but this one was particularly bold. I’m normally pretty good at dealing with most bugs and spiders but once they reach a certain size I have to draw the line. I did what any self-respecting person would do at this time. I backed away from the bathroom and knocked on my daughter’s bedroom door to see if my daughter’s friend, who was visiting at the time, would come and save the day.

 

Tarzan To The Rescue

 

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If you don’t have a Johnny Wiesmuller, a modern day Tarzan will have to do

At a time like this what you need is a modern day Tarzan, who will wrestle the giant fiend and rid your house of the horror of it. However if your modern day Tarzan is more fearful of the cockroach than it is of him, then you are faced with a problem, a somewhat hilarious situation, but a problem nevertheless. While I watched to see if it moved, waiting for him to put his brave pants on, I was contemplating how to get rid of it. I considered that he might be able to throw a shoe at it, but if he missed, we would have a runner on our hands and both of us were likely to scream like a girl and run away, never to find the creature again.

 

 

 

 

 

Tarzan Say “Me No Likey”

 

He is not a cockroach-loving Tarzan that’s for sure and was getting the shivers just looking at the size of the thing. We both admitted to being less afraid of spiders than we were of this colossus, unless of course the spider is one of our extra large and extra hairy Huntsman spiders that are also gigantic, scary and boy can they run fast.

 

If The Shoe Hits!

 

While I stood outside the bathroom and offered encouragement, we first tried the shoe, and yes, it missed and the creature from the dark recesses of Hell did exactly what we hoped it would not, it ran. Then we lost the gargantuan arthropod among the towels hanging on the towel rack. My Tarzan hero was gingerly moving towels aside to see if he could find it when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere and scared him. To which he let out a loud gasp, not quite a girly scream, sending us both into fits of hilarity about our bravery. I’ve never known anyone to be laughing in fear before, but here we were, grown adults giggling like children.

 

My Worst Nightmare – A Cockroach In My Room

 

natural insect pest control

This Screech Owl Represents How I Would Look With No Sleep

As a baby, my parents had put me to bed in my crib one night when we lived in Cyprus, and they checked on me a short time later. The room was dark because they had turned out the lights, but they noticed movement in the room and turned them on. Apparently there were a number of cockroaches that had worked their way through an open vent and had come into my room. My mother swears that none had been in my cot, but I have nightmares of cockroaches crawling on me on occasion so wouldn’t be surprised if at some time, one had been in my cot that night. Needless to say, the vent was sealed after that. So not quite an unreasonable fear in light of hearing this part of my history is it? Not sure I can say the same for Tarzan though.

 

A Screech Owl I Will Be And A Screech Owl I Will Look Like If I Lost It In My Room

 

As this one was getting closer to the bathroom door and therefore closer to my bedroom I shut the room door hoping that it wouldn’t charge us and break the door down and run and hide in my room, to re-surface days later, or worse, crawl over me at night. The reappearance would surely be while I was holding my eyelids open with matchsticks due to the sleepless nights I was bound to have as a result. While this was happening, we were discussing what environmentally friendly tools of the trade we could use to remove the nauseatingly ugly bug and came up with a plan. The first and foremost was to get it out of my house to begin with and then look at ways to prevent it’s re-entry and that of other potentially scarier and even larger pests.

 

Our Clever Solution Complete With Dramatic Effect (Humorous Version)

 

After tipping out the contents all over the floor, we armed ourselves with a large container, long enough so that my modern day Tarzan could be as far away from the monstrosity we were facing as he could be. We found a thin chopping board, but you could also use a piece of paper or cardboard, that must be large enough to cover the opening of the container. Then added to this a wooden place mat to add some strength to our trap.

 

  • After taking into consideration its size, speed, timing and wind factor, no, not really wind factor but it sounded good, carefully move up to the savage as close as you dare, and place the open side of the container over the top of it. When you jump in fright as it starts to run around the inside of the container at top speed, and as you break into a high pitched song that you never knew you could reach such high notes, be mindful not to let the container move so that the titan does not escape.
  • Slowly slide the chopping board (paper or cardboard) under the lip of the container without lifting it up to allow the gargantuan room to break free, so that it has covered the entire opening of the container.
  • Use the wooden place mat as an extra support to your captive’s prison by sliding it under the chopping board, cardboard or paper. You may find you will have to lift the chopping board a little to slide the place mat under it, but do not, I repeat, do not let the container up too much as we did. I can assure you these things are very watchful and crafty and will break out of its jail.
  • After you have accidentally allowed it to make its run for it, repeat steps 1 & 2 and retry step 3, this time being extra careful to slide the place mat under the chopping board.
  • Holding the place mat over the chopping board and making sure there are no openings, turn the container upside down to make it easier to carry, while holding the newly created lid on.
  • Carry the leviathan outside, take off the lid, and throw the contents of the container like a bucket of water as far as you can toss it, or if you are a bit afraid, toss the whole bucket, and run back inside, closing and securing the door behind you.
  • Take a moment to catch your breath and stop laughing.
  • Congratulate yourself on your courage and ingenuity at using an environmentally friendly and safe option of pest control and make sure that your daughter ALWAYS remembers to shut the fly-screen door behind her when she goes outside to ensure that further entries of super-beasts are prevented. That is the best form of safe and non-harmful pest control there is.

 

Enough Silliness, Here Is The Simple But Unfunny (Short)Version

 

  1. Quickly place the upside down container over the top of the location of the cockroach, capturing it inside.
  2. Slide the chopping board/cardboard underneath the container until fully covering the bottom of it.
  3. Use something like our wooden place mat, thin but firm, or a thicker piece of cardboard to slide under the chopping board to keep the bottom steady and keeping the cockroach from scampering out.
  4. Carry the container outside and throw the contents as far away as possible away from the door, remembering to close the door on your way back inside.

 

This does no harm to the environment, nor does it do any harm to the cockroach if you are more inclined to let it live rather than kill it. If you are interested in discovering other ways to minimise the entry of pests in your home, or deter them from becoming an unwelcome household guest, or perhaps even considering trapping them or eliminating them, there are other, much easier means to achieve this.

So What Other Things Can You Do Naturally For Pest Control and Pest Removal?

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Magnetic Fly Screen for Added Protection

 

There are a number of traps, electronic devices, natural substances, essential oils and steps you can take to keep pests out of the house in the first place, or rid your home of them once inside. I would initially look at how they are getting into your home and attempt to prevent it. This way you can avoid many of the harmful chemical solutions that people turn to in order to eradicate unwanted guests, or have no need of the modern day Tarzan to save, or not, the day.

 

You Weren’t Born In A Tent!

 

In our case today, simply keeping the door shut would have been enough. Buying screen doors and window screens if you don’t have any would be a step in the right direction in keeping bugs out. If you already own one, the fly-screen may have had a tear or been lifting out of its housing in the door frame, allowing a gap to appear. You can buy simple patches made of the same screen material to repair small tears and holes without much effort. You might look into the type of screen shown in the picture here on the right which has magnetic sealing options to help keep insects out if you don’t have other options.

 

Take A Good Look Around

 

Check for gaps under doors, or cracks in walls or ceilings, and possible cracks at the joins. Cockroaches in particular love it under your sink so investigate any holes that may let them in. You may find that it is easier to fill the holes or cracks in with silicone or putty or something else to block entry. You can purchase a brush like strip that you place at the bottom of your fly screen door to help stop crawling insects from getting under doors. Many houses already have these in place but check yours anyway, maybe it has deteriorated, or never had one. This should be a simple fix rather than an expensive and laborious venture.

Making sure the house is kept uncluttered will assist in keeping pests from deciding to remain living in a nice pile of paperwork on a desk that never seems to reduce in size. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be a form of natural remedies insect pest control such as those depicted here or in a review I have written on other options. Please take the time to comment on what you have used so far and whether it would be of benefit to other readers.

 

Thank you

 

Warm wishes

Ange

 

 

Images shared under the following licences

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

 

A Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent: Because Many Store Bought Ones Are Not Safe

homemade liquid laundry detergentI wanted to share with you why I prefer a homemade liquid laundry detergent to those that are store bought. With the constant rise in everyday living costs and the impact of convenience lifestyles on the environment, wouldn’t it be nice to have something that is safer for your body, that helps save the environment and keeps money in your pocket? This is a sustainable living website and as such I want to provide ways to gain that sustainability in an eco-friendly way, without necessarily breaking the budget.

 

Green Lifestyle, Green Liquid

 

If you have been trying to live a greener lifestyle I have found a liquid laundry detergent recipe, which I will provide a link to at the end of this article, that is eco-friendly, safe and economical for you to make and use in your own home. There are probably quite a few recipes floating around on the internet, mostly

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Impact on the Environment

variations on the same recipe by the looks of what I have seen or heard about. We could achieve so much towards lessening the damage we do to our planet by merely changing to a greener laundry detergent.

 

Keep Money In Your Pocket

 

Likewise, by choosing to make our own laundry liquid we are lining our own pockets instead of those of the big commercial companies that gain so much from our weekly contributions to their funds while they dole out the ruination of our Earth instead of preserving it.

I say ‘our’ Earth because we all live here and we all have a vested interest in keeping our planet livable. It’s not just up to the big guns to save or destroy our home, we can do something to help maintain it too.

 

Why Would You Need A Safe and Environmentally Friendly Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe Anyway?

 

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Freshly laundered clothes

Most people, myself included will admit they love the smell of freshly laundered clothes, sheets and towels, especially when you add in that fabulous fabric softener to the wash so that it not only comes out smelling clean, but is imbued with a lovely fragrance to keep you sniffing all day long as you wear your clothes, or all night as you sleep in your sheets.

 

But what is it that makes it so, and how does it last so long? Chemicals!

 

Did you know that washing powders and laundry detergents are full of harsh chemicals that are definitely NOT what you would call eco-friendly, and they are certainly NOT all that great for your body either. The fabric softeners are potentially equally taboo. Even the best of the brand names out there contain these harsh chemicals that are toxic to us and can affect our skin. The better, more expensive ones are usually the worst culprits too. You can bet if it’s not safe for our skin, it isn’t safe for the environment either. But what does it do to us?

 

Our Highly Absorbent Skin Can Be Severely Affected By Washing Detergents

 

skin our largest organ, homemade laundry detergent

Cross Section of Skin Our Largest Organ

We need to remember that our skin is the largest organ of the human body. It literally breathes for us, it gets rid of waste and toxins through our pores, and is highly absorbent of just about anything you put on it or against it.

If you aren’t sure about this, just think about the number of topical creams you can buy for various ailments that are designed to be absorbed into the skin.

Why would they make topical creams if the active ingredients weren’t going to be transported into the body through the skin to where they were needed?

 

Take Arthritis!

 

An example of this would be the creams for arthritis. The skin isn’t the part that is sore, it is the joints beneath that are inflamed and painful yet the cream is applied to the skin to absorb down into the joints for relief of arthritic pain.

If you look at the image here of the skin cross section, you get an idea of how thick it is and what those creams have to pass through to get to the arthritic joints.

 

 

 

 

Chemical Sensitivity Causes Reactions

 

When our body is sensitive to materials such as chemicals, it can trigger allergic reactions that manifest in rashes or hives across our skin, whether it be localised or systemic. It’s our body’s way of telling us that it doesn’t like being in contact with a particular substance and that it would be best to remove it so that we don’t trigger a worse allergic reaction because of it. It is also our body’s way of telling us that we might be nearing a toxic overload. Either way, the result is not advantageous to us. Believe it or not, laundry detergents and fabric softeners can irritate the skin and cause such an allergic reaction or toxic overload.

 

How Would I Know This?

 

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We bathed my granddaughter to get rid of the residue

My background is that I have a Bachelor of Health Science degree and a partially completed Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, where immunology, the study of processes including allergies and allergic reactions, formed part of our study program.

I also have personal experience with skin irritants such as laundry liquids and powders, having sensitivity to certain ones. For many years now I have turned to companies that refuse to use anything with harmful chemicals in their products. They have taught me to be mindful about what I am placing on my skin or into my environment.

 

Breakout

 

Just recently we had an incident with my granddaughter breaking out in hives to the point where I had to take her to the hospital. I had tried various means to reduce the irritation.

We bathed her, changed her clothes, cooled her down, used essential oils which worked temporarily to clear the hives, but after it settled, within an hour or so, she would break out again in a different spot.

It was really quite frustrating not to be able to narrow it down at the time. I even changed the bed sheets in case it was something that had been brought into her bed with her that was causing it, to no avail.

 

I Started A Process Of Elimination

 

Finally, after coming home from the hospital, I remembered that I had used some sheets that we had been given from my mother after she moved into an aged care facility. I had used them on my granddaughters bed. I noticed that when I changed my granddaughter’s sheets, I had replaced them with another set of sheets from my mother’s linen cupboard. The sheets always smelled so clean and lovely, probably due to the laundry detergent and fabric softener that she used when washing them.

After realising this, I decided to just place another sheet inside the bed and over the pillow cases rather than change the sheets all over again. It was already 5am and we had been up and down all night. We were both quite weary by then. This time, thinking that perhaps the sheet sets themselves were the culprit, I used sheets that we had washed in my own laundry liquid. As I mentioned before, I use products from a company that produce these kinds of things with safe ingredients, and therefore I haven’t used harsh detergents or fabric softeners for many years. So this wasn’t something we had come across with my granddaughter prior to this.

Finally The Culprit Is Discovered

 

There were no more incidents after this for the rest of the day and night. I then set about washing the sheets and put the sheets on again a couple of nights later to test it. She broke out again. I noticed the sheets still smelled of the washing powder or fabric softener that my Mum used. I had to wash them about 4 or 5 times and then tested them again. This last time she didn’t have any more problems in those sheets, and there is no more noticeable smell left in them.

It is obvious that the powder and fabric softener left residue in the sheets that lasted through quite a few washes before finally becoming loosened enough to wash free. Needless to say, we pinpointed the cause of the allergic reaction down to the washing powder and fabric softener and now that the sheets are residue-free, my granddaughter can enjoy a good night’s sleep in the sheets that she loved from her Great Grandma.

 

Recipe Link Below

 

So there you have it. A homemade liquid laundry detergent, here is the recipe that I promised you, that you can be assured is much better for the environment, you and your pockets and may just help with those allergies too. I hope that you will share this information with other people so that we can spread the word not only about the harshness of our standard laundry detergents and how it can affect our bodies, but also how everybody can limit how much of these chemicals find their way into our environment to destroy it piece by piece.

I hope you have learned a new way to interact with the environment and keep those nasties away from your body. Take care of it and yourself. If you have discovered any other recipes to help people here in this community, please share them in my comments. Keep spreading awareness.

 

Thank you

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – Companies, Welfare And Correctional Facilities

food for the poor

To Help Each Other, Sometimes Means To Carry Others

Provision of food for the poor, has been the focus of a series of articles I’ve written considering how we can maintain wider sustainable living methods, while incorporating a humanitarian component. This is the fifth and final article of this series. This is certainly something to give some serious thought to because how can we expect to live sustainable lives without considering the needs of our fellow man?

 

To Help Others, Sometimes Means We Need To Carry Them

 

What is the point of having a planet that has been looked after, if we don’t do the same for the people inhabiting it? That being said, there are ways that companies can also contribute to this goal, and also other programs that call upon people who may be in a situation where they are asked to perform duties in return for welfare, or are serving time in community service or correctional facilities.

Last But Certainly Not The Least Important!

 

Once again, I am aware these ideas may be bordering on the unrealistic, but I don’t think there is any harm in putting it out there in the hopes that one day, this may be one of those notions that actually comes to fruition, if you’ll pardon the pun. If there was a way that we could work in unison, not just communities but countries working together to achieve great things, I put my vote in to at least try to make this work, or at the very least some version of it.

Can We Count On Companies To Do Their Fair Share?

 

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Yum! Juicy Peaches for the pickings

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Oh Yummy Cherries. I Love Cherries.

If we as individuals, such as is suggested in a previous article, are doing our small bit and providing our meager help, imagine what a big company may be able to provide?

Many companies tend to be built on large properties, with a vast expanse of lawn or grass, with much of it unused and ripe for the planting of trees, shrubs and plants that would produce food.

How fantastic would it be to see the owners of these properties take on the challenge of turning their unused land into groves of trees, vegetable gardens and other food producing flora?

 

This Land For Beauty, This Land For Food

 

There’s no reason why they couldn’t still have an area devoted to making their site look pretty to visitors, but what about the rest of the place? There might be tons of room to do this. Might it be worth considering that they hold days when they harvest, perhaps even including their own employees in a working bee with the promise of a bonus, or a meal provided, to help tend the area? Perhaps even advertise for outsiders to come along and participate and even take some of it home with them. They might be a community minded company and choose to hire people to come and work in their designated produce area, effectively creating work.

 

Companies Can Contribute Too

 

Many companies give donations or sponsorship so this might be considered to be one of their contributions to the good of the community. I wonder if companies might even be convinced to provide a caretaker home within their property in which a person can live there on the condition that they tend to the produce area. Fanciful thoughts you may think I am offering, but at least I am giving it thought. I’m sure there are many other ideas that could be floated around to come up with solutions and practical ways to work with this concept and make it happen in reality.

Community Service, Work For Welfare and Prisons Are A Workforce

 

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Doing Time, Doing A Good Deed In Exchange

While I have so far been speaking of people, communities and companies providing a voluntary service towards helping bring about food for the poor, there are other systems that may also contribute their services and give back to themselves in fulfilling a basic human need.

That is the need to feel worthwhile, that a person is contributing to the world and perhaps leaving their mark in history. These systems I speak of include prisons or people who are doing community services in exchange for keeping out of prison.

 

Correctional Facilities That Correct Attitudes

 

The people who have been put in jail are those who may need attitude corrections in terms of changing how they see themselves, giving them ways to be productive and even skills to be re-employed once they are released, but in ways that make them feel good about themselves. Maybe the very reason they are in these facilities is because they have never had a chance to grow.

I realise there will be some prisoners who are not able to be redirected into doing something different with their lives, but for the larger number it would certainly be a worthwhile endeavour to attempt.

 

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Strawberries line a pathway

Hardened Criminals To Hard Yakka

 

The hardened criminals perhaps would be working for their food and board like people used to do, I believe that in many cases prisoners usually work at jobs inside and get paid a very small wage. I’m not sure whether that money goes on an account that they can use to purchase items they need or not, but with what they do, perhaps they can add in tending to community veggie gardens and fruit groves for those individuals that are not classed as dangerous. They could at least reduce the cost of feeding them by growing their own fruit and vegetables.

 

Much To Think About

 

I guess it would depend on what equipment was needed to viably maintain the production of food and how much of a risk it would be to themselves, other prisoners or the wardens as to whether or not this would be a usable idea or not. Of course this is merely supposition and I’m not naive enough to believe that there would not be many things to take into consideration in providing a safe working zone and one that does not offer opportunities of escape or to bring harm to anyone else.

 

I was thinking along the lines of low security prisoners working in the community gardens I have mentioned in my third article, but again, this is food for thought and would take a lot of planning. Those serving out their community service hours, or young offenders who have been placed in correctional centers are likely candidates for providing a source of able bodied people who might be ready and willing to change their lives by changing the way they interact with life.

 

The Welfare System Means Opportunity

 

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Pick An Apple Today And Pay Your Way

Another opportunity to source people to be employed by the government in maintaining the trees and plants are those people who are obtaining money through welfare due to current unemployment. I don’t mean make it a compulsory idea of ‘no work, no pay’, but rather put it to people that it may help them find work more easily in the future, or provide a reward of paying for their courses to become re-skilled, or something similar, if they work in exchange for credits.

I realise there are many reasons why some people simply won’t be able to do this, but if those that can are given something worthwhile in their lives, they tend to have better self esteem and we may avoid many of these people becoming disheartened and losing hope.

 

Welfare Does Not Mean Fare Well, But Wellness Of Mind May Lead To Better Job Prospects

 

Being forced to ask for help can be an extremely degrading feeling for many people. There is a certain stigma attached to people who have no choice but to be part of the welfare system. This means that no matter what circumstances brought these people to have to rely on government handouts, they are always lumped into the same unforgiving basket.

Called bludgers, a waste of space, accused of being no good, of not wanting to work, taking the tax payers money, etc, etc. All very unkind and thoughtless comments from those who are more fortunate than others and who still happen to have secure employment. Because in this day and age, job security is very hard to come by and people are being forced daily to look elsewhere to earn a living, create their own income, or work outside what most people would call mainstream. I know this because I’ve been there myself, so by understanding this small fact, we will already have raised the Earth’s care factor a huge amount.

 

Say No To GMO, While We Are Caring For Our Poor

 

I’d like to end this article series here, although I’m sure that it has opened up some food for thought in terms of what COULD be done as opposed to what’s NOT being done. While looking to this future where everybody helps each other, let’s not forget that we still need to be maintaining as sustainable a lifestyle as we can. So while we are providing food for the poor, we must also make sure that it is being done in the most effective, but sustainable way. This means using heirloom seeds, because let’s face it, if we don’t try to start re-growing the original species of our food, that have been made specifically for our biological beings, we will lose all of that goodness forever and never be able to win it back. Genetically modified seeds and plants do not produce what we need for our bodies, they just mean that we can produce more, more and more so that the food goes around.

 

Natural Supermarkets

 

While I understand the reason why these practices are used, I do not see why we would need them if we start to use all of our spare land to become natural supermarkets for all. Spare produce should be sent to those places where their climate and soil conditions don’t support the growth of such food-producing plants and trees. Remember to use all green building tools, gardening equipment, natural pesticides, biodegradable materials or those made from natural substances, so that we may reduce the impact on the environment. Just imagine how beautifully lush and green our planet will be.

 

Watermelons

Grow Watermelons

Pineapples

Pineapples Will Delight The Palate

Plum Trees

Plum Trees Aplenty.

 

Thoughts anyone? Please leave them in the comment section below and remember these ideas are just that, ideas. They are not a plan, nor am I considering the notions to be the answer to this problem, there are many things to factor in.

 

Thank you for reading

 

Warm Wishes

Ange